A CHARITY that aimed to build a community centre in a Winchester parish is winding down.

Oliver's Battery Community Centre Charity (OBCCC) was established by a team of local residents, hoping to provide a new venue for activities and social events.

The group had advancing plans to demolish and replace the St Mark's Church building in Oliver's Battery Road South. But after a deal with the Parochial Church Council (PCC) of St Luke and St Mark fell through, the charity decided to call it a day.

Geoff Sharman, who chaired the charity when it first formed, said: "We set the charity up four to five years ago, and we were very optimistic. But we've not quite received the backing we expected.

"After the deal fell through, it was felt there wasn't much else we could do as this is the only site in the parish that we could use.

"I understand that the council of the church are looking to refurbish the current building and grow the activities in the area. But the fact remains that it was built post-war – it's a prefab. It remains today and is well past its best-before date."

Mr Sharman said that he is "not entitled" to say exactly what will happen to the money raised by the charity, but added: "I believe some donations can be returned in certain circumstances. In others, it will be given to charitable causes."

The final-serving chairman of the charity, Ian Miller, refused to comment on the situation.

He told the Chronicle: "I have nothing to say to you and we don't need a story in the public domain. Our members know what is happening and that's all that matters."

The Chronicle has tried to contact the Parochial Church Council (PCC) of St Luke and St Mark, but awaits a response.